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PEX Health and Fitness
The November, 2021 Edition of the NLB

Why hello there! It's me again, back at it with another stupendous assortment of .gifs and memes (and some health and fitness stuff, too.)

Admittedly, I am pretty proud of myself for getting back-to-back NLB's out to you all, so let me just take a moment to bask in my own self-adoration.

Man...I miss my mullet. (And my mom, despite the fact that she had nothing to do with this publication. It's neither hair nor there.)

Anywho, we hope that you enjoyed last month's edition. In case you missed it, you can always go onto our website and check out the Newsletter & Blog Page with a full archive of all blogs, past and present. A lot of good content on that page, so be sure to check it out!

This edition's Blog Post is brought to you by our very own Katie Woodilla, Owner of Bomber Fitness. (I bet you are wondering where that name came from -- turns out her father flew B52 Bombers in the Air Force. She, too, is a badass.)
I can't even describe to you how happy it makes me to have a Top Gun .gif in this broadcast.

So, it is with great pleasure that I welcome you to November's edition of the PEX NLB.

Yours truly,

Exercising Outside in the Cold
By Katie Woodilla
Owner of Bomber Fitness
Winter is coming!

With people less eager to get outside and get moving around, the importance of maintaining our body’s activity level increases significantly.

Colder temperatures bring some legitimate changes to our internal and external environments, and these changes can drastically alter our workout performance.
Our bodies react differently when cold is introduced, especially when exercising. Our bodies have a higher caloric expenditure on a day-to-day basis from simply trying to maintain a core temperature of 98.6 degrees.

During the late fall and early winter, our basal metabolic rate increases. In order to maintain an appropriate core temperature, the central nervous system cranks up a notch to stave off the external effects of the colder temperatures. This subconscious action of the human body requires us to maintain our blood sugar levels high to accommodate our muscles’ needs. A simple 30-minute workout in the summer will feel very different in the fall/winter. Keeping your hydration levels and caloric intake up is key to feeling your best. 

It is important to understand, too, that training outside in the cold will equate to slightly different intensity levels; your maximum effort changes with the elements. During the summer months, you may have been a puddle of sweat by pushing your body to the limit. In the winter months, you may be struggling to keep up with your previous achievements. During any season and moving around at any intensity, make sure to rest as much as you need to. It does not necessarily mean to lower any specific weights you are using, but rather to take a few extra minutes to evaluate the number of sets and repetitions you are doing and making any needed adjustments.

When you do exercise, please take more time focusing on your warm-up and cool down. Dynamic stretches before you begin your workout prepare your body for movement patterns to perform that day. I always relate warm-up motions to pizza dough. Sounds crazy, but hear me out. If you try to take pizza dough out of the fridge/freezer and move it in any direction, it will most likely either not move or break. Breaking does NOT sound fun. The more you knead the dough however, the greater it will stretch. It allows you to move it and mold it in any direction you want and leads to your body being at less risk of injury. Take your time with your muscles, you will thank yourself later.
Knead your muscles to prevent cat-astrophic injuries.

Think about extending your warm-up times by a few minutes, depending on the conditions. When it comes to your post-workout cool down, plan accordingly. Protection against wind, ice, and snow is no joke. If you plan on being outside during any part of your workout, be conscientious about what you are wearing. Light layers, moisture-wicking fabrics, and protective coverings for your head, hands, and neck will go a long way.

Lastly, whether or not you are exercising at high intensities, it is important to drink plenty of water to keep the body as hydrated as possible. It appears obvious, but many of us neglect it. Dehydration can lead to multiple health risks such as fainting spells, fatigue, headaches, and a general decrease in energy. Hydration is key when keeping our bodies in the best condition, especially when the body expels so much more energy to keep us moving. Fatigue comes upon us quickly. We have to watch ourselves to make sure we are drinking water consistently throughout the entire day.

That’s all for now! Stay safe, stay covered, and stay healthy. Don’t let the snowflakes deter you from achieving your goals. Adapt as needed and crush it.

In need of a little more guidance when it comes to maintaining a workout regimen or adapting your workout plan around the change in weather? Send expert Katie an email to schedule an appointment with her!

Education is key! Stay in the (s)know when it comes to working out in the colder months by checking out this YouTube video. It even touches on the health benefits of working out in the cold; believe it or not it can boost your immune system!
Still warming up to the idea? Check out this Podcast by fitness author, personal trainer, nutrition consultant and wellness advisor Ben Greenfield, where he breaks down biohacking your way through cold thermogenesis.

According to Ben, the concept may help enhance human performance. With the winter months looming, it may be worth a listen!

Isolation Exercises Are Also Postural Isometric Exercises!
Say that three times fast.

Seriously, though. This is a thing. A lot of people poo-poo isolation exercises, and typically it's because those people don't understand the secondary and tertiary levels of motor control it takes to properly perform an isolation movement. (For those of you keeping track at home, an isolation movement is an exercise that involves the dynamic movement of exactly one joint, i.e. the elbow joint during the bicep curl.)
No, 8 ounce curls don't count.

You've all seen it, too; the guy or gal at the gym doing triceps press-downs on the cable machine -- every time they press down their elbows flare out, their shoulders roll forwards, their traps and rhomboids lift & contract, and their thoracic spine extends and flexes. Hardly the movement of just one joint. (More often than not, this is the result of the weights being too heavy.)

Why is this bad? Well the irony is the muscle you're trying to isolate, in this case the triceps, ends up getting less direct stimulation. Other muscles take over and/or over contribute to the desired task, and the muscle you were trying to isolate gets lost in the shuffle. You create compensatory (potentially injurious) movement patterns, and you lose the benefits of being able to hold an isometric posture while moving one joint through a dynamic range of motion.

So, the next time you set out to do a triceps press-down or a leg extension, try to keep every other part of your body completely stiff and motionless. You will notice three things:

1) The exercise is considerably harder than you've conditioned yourself to believe.
2) You will have to lighten the weight significantly.
3) You've been doing them incorrectly your whole life.

You're welcome.


Is "Not Having Enough Time" A Valid Excuse for Skipping Exercise?


Think about every time you skipped a workout because you "didn't have enough time." Or, even better, the people who skip exercise all together because they don't have enough time to get their workouts in. Well, just how much time to do you actually need to see real benefits?

Honestly, it could be as little as 15-minutes. You just need to plan ahead and know what to do in the time that you have. Take cardiovascular conditioning, for example; if you are short on time, do 10 to 15 minutes of high-intensity intervals. Need proof? Check out this meta-analysis on cardiovascular training that compared short bouts of interval training to long bouts of steady-state-cardio.

Here's a little excerpt, straight from the hare's mouth:

"The study under review tells us that when it comes to losing your gut, the intensity of exercise doesn’t matter so much. There was no significant difference between intervals and steady-state cardio for reductions in fat mass or body fat percentage, with both modalities resulting in...reductions. Rather, the caloric expenditure of the exercise session might be a more important variable...

Overall, the study under review supports the notion that performing interval training for a shorter total workout time can be an effective alternative to regular steady-state cardio, provided caloric expenditure is matched. So, interval training might be a way to get more people to exercise, since a lack of time is cited as a primary barrier to exercising. Moreover, subgroup analyses found no difference between [high intensity interval training] and [steady-state cardiovascular training] for fat loss, suggesting that personal preference, enjoyment, and physical capabilities should dictate what type of endurance training is used for fat loss."

Next time you can't bring yourself to workout, you can use the excuse I recently received from a vendor I interviewed for services at the gym, "my apologies for the late response, I was busy competing at the National Wiffle Ball Championship."

Touché, sir.


Training Hard Will Result in Aches and Pains

There. I said it.

In order to see positive metabolic, body composition, and/or muscular changes, you have to expose your body to new, and uncomfortable, stimuli at predictable and appropriate intervals.

In other words, in order to get fitter, leaner, and stronger, you have to consistently train harder (lift more weight, do more reps, take less rest, etc.) than your previous session(s). If you are constantly doing the same weights, reps, rest periods, sets, etc., you are depriving your body the stimulus it needs to become a Greek God or Goddess.

(This also means that you need a program, your program has to have workouts you can repeat, and you have to know what kind of weights and intervals to start at so you can progress week-to-week. But that is a tirade for another time.)
While training hard has its' perks (strength, speed, endurance, increased muscle tone, decreased fat mass, increased energy, etc.) it also comes at a cost: you will have aches and pains. Put more bluntly, if you are training hard, it will hurt a little bit. If it doesn't, you probably ain't training with enough intensity to elicit any progressive changes to your musculature, body composition. metabolism, 401(k), or your 529.

Now, this does not mean you have to grind yourself into dust the next time you step foot in the gym, but it does mean that you aren't going to wind up in the ICU if your hamstring is a little tender after a hard lower-body session. It also means if you haven't been sore in the last seven years, it's time to pick it up smidge.

I expect to see a few smidges this week.


1) Needham Spooky WalkIt was so much fun handing out tricks or treats to the little kiddies last Saturday for Needham Spooky Walk. We had a blast seeing all of the great costumes come through the door at PEX. Our favorite was the little one dressed as a bunch of grapes. We hope all of the families that participated had as much fun as we did!

2) PEX Medfield Opening PEX Medfield is still on track to open before the end of 2021. Buildout is still going as planned, factoring in all of the equipment and supply delay curveballs that were thrown at us. Our monthly newsletter and our social media accounts (Facebook and Instagram, @pexhealthandfitness) will be the place to go to find real-time updates as we zero in on a grand opening date for PEX Medfield!

3) New CoachesPEX in Needham is actively interviewing part-time physical therapists, massage therapists and acupuncturists! We are also actively interviewing and building a team for the new PEX Medfield! Are you (or do you know of) a fitness professional in the greater Boston area, looking to advance beyond the typical gym-trainer experience? If so, shoot us a message! We also want to congratulate John Chapple, Mike Shea, Katie Woodilla, Erika Burton, and Amy Kuphal for officially joining the PEX Team!

4) PEX Ambassador ProgramReminder! At PEX Health and Fitness, we understand the importance of maintaining an immaculate reputation, and we also know the value of word-of-mouth marketing. To express our gratitude to our clients for recommending PEX Health and Fitness to others, all current PEX Health and Fitness clients are eligible to be a part of our Client Ambassador Program!

In the event that a current PEX Health and Fitness client recruits a new client to PEX, the recruiting client is eligible to receive an ambassador’s fee of $100, after the new client’s successful completion of 10 personal training sessions with a coach at PEX Health and Fitness.
In Conclusion
This brings us to the conclusion of our scheduled program. We hope you enjoyed the show. Happy November! And remember, dress warm, workout more, or move to Florida.

Mister Worldwide
To send cash and diamonds
1451 Highland Avenue,
Needham, MA 02492